AZUSA, Calif.-- Azusa Pacific senior Oktay Bulut was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of American NCAA Division II men’s soccer All-American team, the national office announced Friday. Bulut, a four-year starter, led the Cougars in goals for the third straight season, helping the team to a 15-5 record to earn NSCAA/Division II third-team honors; the program’s first NCAA II All-American.
“I think it’s a testament to both Oktay’s quality as a player, and the quality of his teammates. He’s such a great passer, and he can dictate so much of what happens on the field. With that he needs to be surrounded by great players. He’s a playmaker and a passer, and the players around him make that effective, and that’s what this honor is about,” said head coach Dave Blomquist.
Bulut led an Azusa Pacific team that finished in a tie with Fresno Pacific atop the Pacific West Conference standings (10-2), and recorded his second straight season with double-figure goals, pacing the Cougars with 10 in his final campaign. His 10 scores ranked fifth in the PacWest, while his 22 points were tied for ninth most in the league.
Bulut also came through in the clutch, most notably when he led an improbable comeback against Notre Dame de Namur on Oct. 24. With Azusa Pacific trailing 3-1 in the 77th minute Bulut entered the match, and ignited a three-goal, three-minute rally, scoring two quick goals, and notching the equalizer before Azusa Pacific held on for a wild 4-3 win.
“He led the team in goals, but he’s not a player whose impact is always on the stat sheet. Everything he does benefits the team and is of the highest quality. Case in point for his impact this year, and through his career, is our match at NDNU, where we were down 3-1. We put him on, and we scored three times in three minutes with two from him. He’s a difference maker and his presence changes games,” said Blomquist.
The two-time First-Team All-PacWest performer closed his career ranked in the top-10 in points, sitting at No. 9 on the all-time list with 37 goals and 20 assists (94 points). For a complete list of the 2013 NSCAA All-American teams Click Here.